Lady Friends With Benefits


Women's romantic friendships and lifelong partnerships were common -- and acceptable -- in the Victorian era. Cristen and Caroline discuss how and why these so-called "Boston marriages" flourished and what was behind their early 20th-century demise.

Episode sources:

"A Brief History of Romantic Friendships." Brainpickings. https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/08/25/romantic-friendship/

"Alice B. Toklas moves in permanently with Gertrude Stein." History. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/alice-b-toklas-moves-in-permanently-with-gertrude-stein

"A Tale of Two Ladies Ahead of Their Time." Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/wales/724170/Wales-A-tale-of-two-ladies-ahead-of-their-time.html

"Black Lesbians." Historical Dictionary of the Lesbian and Gay Liberation Movements. https://books.google.com/books?id=4Rz9AAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

"Boston Marriages." Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, Volume I. https://books.google.com/books?id=_nyHS4WyUKEC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

"Boston Marriages: Romantic But Asexual Relationships Among Contemporary Lesbians." Rothblum, Esther D. and Kathleen A. Brehony. 1993. https://books.google.com/books?id=57qS_nfMdicC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

"Charity and Sylvia: The Remarkable Story of How Two Women Married Each Other in Early America." Brainpickings. https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/08/13/charity-and-sylvia-marriage/

"'Female Husbands' in the 19th Century." NPR. http://www.npr.org/sections/npr-history-dept/2015/01/29/382230187/-female-husbands-in-the-19th-century

"Michael Field." Poetry Foundation. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/michael-field

"Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in the Twentieth-Century America." Columbia University Press. 2012. https://books.google.com/books?id=tpBdCl-I_oUC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

"Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson." The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/books/first/h/hart-open.html

"Sarah Orne Jewett." PBS. http://www.pbs.org/outofthepast/past/p2/jewett.html

"Singing the Lesbian Blues in 1920s Harlem." Collector's Weekly. http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/singing-the-lesbian-blues-in-1920s-harlem/

"Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson." Emily Dickinson Museum. https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/susan_dickinson

"Women Who Love Women." The New York Times. "Boston Marriages." https://www.nytimes.com/books/98/07/26/nnp/heilbrun-surpassing.html

Topics in this Podcast: sex, marriage, lgbt, women's colleges, lesbians